Sunday, August 22, 2010

Second to the last Sunday of my Summer Vacation!

My summer vacation is almost over, but the NFL pre-season is in full swing, so all things balance out. (I love AT&T's U-verse and the NFL channel.)

CSUF Arboretum: Going places!

It's been a great summer: one of my best ever.

I wrote to a friend today: The coming school year is full of changes and challenges -- and that's different how?

So much of life is about outlook and attitude. It's not always easy to make sense of things, but if you ponder a bit... or a lot... for a long time... sometimes things make sense...

Or you at least can create a mental game plan. I did that today over on my other blog in a post called Adapt and Thrive!

St. Patrick's rose: a beauty!

That post is really a result of a lot of summer-long pondering over issues at work. But many of the conclusions I reached have broader applications.

I end that post with a quote from a friends FaceBook profile:

"Kites rise highest against the wind -- not with it."

Life is full of problems, challenges, disappointments, etc.

A spider enjoys a lacewing lunch at St. Patrick's

There may be an ill wind blowing, but I don't have to be driven along by it. I can be like the kite and rise up.

That's my plan for the coming school year! (I may even decorate my classroom with a kite or two to stay reminded.)

Da Haan's at da Petting Zoo!

Happy Sunday/Monday.


  1. It seems you are having a great summer :)
    beautiful pic the one with the rose, but I am afraid of spiders, so the second one almost produced me a heart attack xD
    Take care

  2. Why are you counting down the days?!

    And don't forget to put a link to your other blog in your sidebar, Mr. Haan...

    Headed over there now. ;)

  3. Loved this post, Don, it is so well written. It is a simple delight! loved reading the following.."I can be like the kite and rise up!"
    How inspiring is that!
    So glad you had such a fabulous summer!!
    Great photos too!
    (FYI I am a teacher as well).

    Hope you have a lovely week ahead :)

    B :)

  4. @misscorleon: Thanks for the comment. Summer's great and spiders are scary... especially big ones. But these seem to like living in my yellow roses. So how bad can they be? (Plus they eat flies.)

    @Saphron: I'm counting down because it's annoying if I kept counting up... My 10th Week of Summer Vacation! (Wouldn't that just tick you off?) And thanks for the reminder regarding the sidebar link: at your request... it's now there... just above my picture: but I'm not Mr. Haan. That's my son-in-law's name. (Fooled ya... She-who-carefully-hides-her-true-identity-and-face-in-the-blogosphere!)

  5. You'll be a fantastic kite Don. Your positive attitude soars above many :) So happy that you had a terrific summer. Enjoy the school year. I know you will make it a good one for all your kids.

  6. Your optimism and positive energy are always an inspiration, especially in light of the many challenges facing schools these days. I like your rebuttal question to your friend too-- "and this is different how?" It offers good perspective. The only thing I would add to that ideas is that there is one big difference from last year to this one: we are wiser this year and have more tools to deal with the "new" challenges ahead.

    I'm trying to approach this year with a similar attitude. A lot of really rotten things happened in our district last year, but I am cautiously optimistic that this year will be better. Fresh starts each fall are one of my favorite perks of the job! :)

    Don, I wish you a truly amazing and rewarding school year. May your students be fantastic, your classroom golden moments be plentiful, and may the winds of change be less stressful.

  7. P.S. I really like your other blog. It seems like your district and mine are going through similar issues. It makes it hard to keep the kite flying high especially when it is so personal. Thank you for offering encouragement to do so anyway, despite the bitterness that often accompanies the ill winds.

  8. That spider shot is amazing: good job! Your school starting is about the same as ours, so many are starting earlier these days. I remember we didn't start till almost the middle of September.

  9. @Betty: Thanks for your comment. I'm not surprised that you are a teacher as well: a bit of a Renaissance woman!

    @September: Thanks for the comment... my fellow kite!

    @Mrs N: So glad to have you dropping by again... with a new aka to boot! I especially like your addition, "we are wiser this year." Sad but true. I read a quote today I liked, "If there were no change, there would be no butterflies." The challenge is to change into a butterfly or kite instead of something far less. You fill in the blank. Thanks for your well wishes. Back at ya!

    @Mrs N: I'm glad you recognize one of the intents of my other blog: to encourage others. I was reading a Bible passage about Jesus calming the storm at the request of his fearful disciples. Earlier in the passage it says that when he departed onto the sea, there were other boats. We each have our storm-tossed boats, and what helps steady ours, steadies others. (Especially if we share the story.) In five years, little of this strife will matter, except for what we learned from it.

    @Dennis: Thanks for the comment. Until I did the caption, I hadn't noticed the lacewing dinner. Pictures, like posts, sometimes yield more the second time around. (Enjoy your fall!)